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Edison International (EIX - Analyst Report) is expected to release its third quarter 2012 results on November 1, 2012 after the market close. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter of 2012 is $1.10 per share (year-over-year decrease of 15.73%) on revenues of $3,700 million (year-over-year increase of 9.27%).

Second-quarter 2012, a Synopsis

Edison International reported adjusted earnings of 32 cents per share for the second quarter of 2012, missing both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents and the year-ago quarterly earnings of 56 cents per share. The steep decline in earnings was primarily due to losses at the Midwest Generation unit and a delay in the 2012 rate case decision related to regulatory support for investment made by the utility’s subsidiary Southern California Edison.

Edison International's revenue rose $74 million year over year to $3.06 million in the reported quarter, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Read our full coverage on this earnings report: Mixed 2Q for Edison, Profits Dip

Zacks Consensus

The analysts covered by Zacks expects Edison International to post third-quarter 2012 earnings of $1.10 per share, lower than $1.31 delivered in the prior-year quarter. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate ranges between earnings of 91 cents and $1.71 a share.

For 2012, the Zacks Consensus Estimate stood at $2.34 per share, below the prior-year earnings of 3.22 per share. The current Zacks Estimate ranges between $1.90 and $2.52 per share.

Estimate Revisions Trend

Agreement

We see a mixed trend for the third quarter of 2012. Among the 10 estimates, only one estimate moved upward in the last 30 days. One moved in the opposite direction in the last 7 days and 3 in the last 30 days.

For full-year 2012, among the 9 estimates, 3 of the estimates moved upwards in the last 30 days. One estimate moved in the opposite direction both in the last 7 days as well as 30 days.

The analysts seem to have a mixed opinion for the third quarter as well as full year 2012.

Magnitude

The magnitude shows a declining trend for the third quarter of 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter of 2012 moved down by 2 cents in the last 7 days and by 8 cents in the last 30 days.

For full-year 2012, the Zacks Consensus Estimate did not witness any movement in the last 7 days but moved up by 2 cents in the last 30 days.

Surprise History

With respect to earnings surprises, Edison International has topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the last four quarters in the range of (20.45%) to 66.67%. The average surprise over the last four quarters remained at 12.00%. The earnings beat in December 2011 was the highest at 66.67%.

Our Recommendation

With its strong portfolio of regulated utility assets and well-managed merchant energy operations, Edison International presents a lower risk profile compared to its peers like Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED - Analyst Report) and Entergy Corporation (ETR - Analyst Report). Going forward, Edison Mission Group’s future growth will be driven by improved performance in unregulated power generation and energy trading, higher price realizations and upcoming wind projects.

However, we remain concerned about the tepid economy, volatile gas prices and the pending regulatory approval for recovery of capital expansion costs. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

California-based Edison International is a utility holding company operating through its principal subsidiaries: Southern California Edison Company, Edison Mission Energy, and Edison Capital.

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